Jeremy Paxman is to quit Newsnight after 25 years working at the BBC 2 programme. His opinion-led and acerbic delivery has won him huge popularity with viewers while simultaneously striking dread into the hearts of the public figures he turns his attention to.
No-one will forget his excruciating interrogation of Michael Howard in 1997, where he asked the Conservative politician the same question 12 times amid blustering prevarication from Howard.
It will be a shame to see him go.
In a statement, Paxman said: “I have decided it is time to move on from Newsnight.
“After 25 years, I should rather like to go to bed at much the same time as most people.
“This was a decision I reached – and informed the BBC of – last July. I shall work out the remainder of my contract and will not seek another.
“It’s been fun. I have had the pleasure of working with lots of clever, creative and amusing people. I think I’ve been lucky and wish the programme well.”
As Paxman bids goodbye to the newsnight floor, we take a look back at some of his best and most controversial moments
Firstly, here’s the amazing Michael Howard clip:
Then there’s his astonishing interview with Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister.
During the interview Paxman asks Blair about Labour accepting donations from the owners of particular publications. “These people own the Express newspaper?” Blair asks.
“Yes,” Paxman confirms.
“Then I think it’s perfectly acceptable to accept a donation from them.” Blair says.
“They also own Horny Housewives, Mega Boobs, Posh Wives, Skinny and Wriggly…” Paxman adds. “Do you know what these magazines are like?”
Here it is, skip to about 8 minutes for the magic:
His famous barbed delivery is exemplified by the programme’s decision to include a weather forecast at the end of the programme. Paxman displays his contempt openly: “There will be rain, execept in those places that don’t have rain.” Take a look at this magnificent clip, which was used in Have I Got News For You:
Finally, here’s a compilation clip of some of Paxman’s finest TV moments:
Paxman will continue to present University Challenge.